Ivey orders flags to half-staff for slain Auburn PD officer William Buechner — ‘Will never be forgotten’
Governor Kay Ivey on Monday ordered flags in Alabama to be flown at half-staff until sunset on Saturday to honor Auburn Police Department Officer William Buechner, who was shot and killed in the line of duty late Sunday night.
In a directive to state agencies, Ivey said, “Buechner laid down his life protecting the people of Auburn, and the entire state of Alabama mourns this tremendous loss.”
The governor also issued a statement to the public following the shooting, which resulted in the hospitalization of two additional Auburn PD officers.
Ivey noted that the shooting occurred one day after National Police Week.
“Just last week, in Alabama and across the country, we honored the sacrifice of the men and women in law enforcement during National Peace Officers Memorial Week,” she said. “As we began this week, our state was met with the tragic news that shots were fired on three of our police officers, which took the life of Officer William Buechner and wounded two other officers.”
Buechner is the third Alabama police officer killed in the line of duty so far this year, after Birmingham Police Department Sgt. Wytasha Carter and Mobile Police Department Officer Sean Tuder. In 2018, the Yellowhammer State lost Mobile Police Department Officer Taylor Billa and Huntsville Police Department Officer Keith O’Neal Earle.
“Far too often, we are reminded of the grave sacrifice the men and women in law enforcement make each day and night they go to work,” Ivey emphasized. “Sadly, this year in our state three men did not have the chance to return home to their families and friends, all because they risked their lives to protect our communities.”
The governor continued, “The city of Auburn is somewhere I was able to call home for four important years of my life, and it will always have a very special place in my heart. I know that many others in Alabama and across the country are mourning this loss alongside Officer Buechner’s family and Auburn residents.
The other two officers wounded Sunday, who are expected to recover from their gunshot wounds, are Auburn Police’s Webb Sistrunk and Evan Elliott.
A manhunt lasted approximately eight hours before the suspected shooter was brought into custody, courtesy of teamwork between multiple local, state and federal law enforcement entities. WSFA has reported that the suspect was an active infantryman in the Alabama Army National Guard.
“I commend the members of state and local law enforcement who bravely pursued and successfully captured the shooter to ensure the safety of the many students and families in the Auburn area,” Ivey stated.
“We offer our support and prayers to the two officers recovering from their injuries and send prayers of comfort to the Buechner family,” the governor concluded. “The ultimate sacrifice of Officer Buechner will never be forgotten.”
Sean Ross is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn